If you’ve been to Las Vegas more than a couple of times on vacation, no doubt someone, at some point, has uttered these words to you:
“You’re going to Vegas. . .again?”
There are only two places I know of that cause people to have that reaction: Las Vegas and Disney World. I think the reason it rankles me so much is that there’s an implied criticism in that phrase for your vacation destination of choice. The criticism is: Why would you go there more than once? Or why do you go there so often, rather than going somewhere else? In other words:
What’s wrong with you?
Rather cheeky, isn’t it, to criticize someone else’s vacation choice? I know several people who spend the same week every year on the coast of Maine. Some of them even rent the same cottage on the same beach every year. Nobody ever says to them, “You’re going there again???” So why is it okay for people to criticize those of us who are repeat Vegas (or Disney World) visitors? At least I can lay claim that Vegas feels like a new city between trips, since it is constantly growing and changing every year. How much does the little town on the coast of Maine change from year to year, do you suppose?
In a one-year time span in Las Vegas, new shows debut and old ones end their runs; new restaurants spring up where old ones have closed, older hotels are imploded and new ones celebrate openings, old attractions go by the wayside and new ones open to great fanfare. In the ten years I have been visiting Las Vegas, I have never had trouble filling my time with new activities, new restaurants to try, and new things to do.
But even if I did go back to the same hotel, same favorite restaurants, etc., would that be so bad? Wouldn’t it be exactly like going back to the same cottage on the same beach in Maine every year? And why do people do that, anyway?
Because sometimes, when we need a vacation, we just want to go back to a place that feels comfortable and familiar. I wrote a post about this recently on my other blog, SoloFriendly, called The Comfort of the Familiar. Some of the reasons we go back to the same place repeatedly are that it requires less planning and research (since we’ve been there before), we know where everything is, we know how everything works, and we don’t have to struggle to learn a new language or culture. Sometimes, vacations are about exploring new cultures and pushing ourselves outside our comfort zones, and sometimes, it’s just meant to be a relaxing escape from our busy and stressful lives. When that’s the case, why not go to your Happy Place? Places like Las Vegas and Disney World allow you to have fun without having to work hard at it.
Let’s not forget too, that most tourist destinations depend on repeat visitors. So to visit the same place repeatedly is to show it your love by “voting with your wallet,” so to speak. I love Las Vegas. I show it by continuing to spend my money there.
So boo on the naysayers who try to make us feel bad for going back to the same vacation spot every year. Keep going and keep having fun, and don’t worry about what other people think. It’s your time, it’s your money, you’re allowed to spend it however you want.